A rent control initiative will be on the ballot this November. It’s long overdue.
It didn’t take advocates long to qualify the measure. The rents are too damn high and everyone knows it.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the measure would repeal a 23-year-old state law that sets tight limits on all forms of rent control across California.
The 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act said any local rent control passed after February 1995 would not apply to large amounts of housing stock, including new apartment buildings occupied after that date, single-family homes, duplexes and condominiums. Local politicians and activists seeking to pass new laws could only limit rent increases for tenants living in housing built before that year.
Cities that already had rent control were grandfathered into the law.
Now everyone wants into the act.
The Bee goes on to report that in 1995, then-Democratic state senator from the Central Valley, (now U.S. Rep.) Jim Costa, joined forces with a Republican assemblyman from Orange County, Phil Hawkins, to author the state law seeking to blunt the rent control movement.
It worked well. At present, only 15 cities have some form of rent control. California has 58 counties and 482 municipalities. That means that the 467 remaining cities and towns are prohibited from protecting renters from runaway rent hikes and evictions.
Slumlords hate the idea of widespread rent control. Costa-Hawkins has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Business as usual for California leaders.